UH Sweatshop Group Claims "The People's Lawyer" Tried To Bribe Them

We long gave up trying to mesh the noble cause of UH's Students Against Sweatshops with their inane, self-defeating tactics.

Things are getting weird with them once again.

In an e-mail announcing a press conference this week (in which they'll discuss filing a new lawsuit), group president Timothy O'Brien takes off against Richard Alderman, UH's law prof who's semi-famous as "The People's Lawyer" of TV and print.

O'Brien said Alderman "drafted the "Apparel Task Force" final report and offered a $250 bribe, in writing to the UH Students Against Sweatshops to delay filing the lawsuit."

Our first reaction was "Whaaaat?" and a belief that there's no way Alderman would offer $250 to these guys, but it turns out the story is a little more nuanced than that.

Alderman tells Hair Balls he did indeed offer O'Brien $250 either in cash or as payment for work, but it wasn't a bribe to delay the lawsuit.

He said O'Brien told him he would have to amend a different, current lawsuit by March 31 to include Alderman because it would cost $250 to file a new suit against him after that date.

"I told him 'I'll give you $250 to sue me,'" Alderman says. "I was offering the money to delay the suit so we could work things out without it...If all that was stopping us from working things now was that he might need $250 later, I said I'd hire him or give it to him if he needed it later."

He said calling the offer a bribe was "insane" and that "no good deed goes unpunished."

"I was by far the strongest supporter he had on the [university's] committee," Alderman says. "He was getting just about everything he wanted."

Apparently not. O'Brien says the new suit will include claims of  "fraud, negligent misrepresentation and defamation for their involvement and press releases related to the 'Apparel Task Force' set up by Dr. Khator last spring."

Which won't help matters at all, but that's been kinda the modus operandi of this campus group for a long time.


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